Eastern Shore Farmer Steve Sturgis was awarded the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Distinguished Service Awards during the VFBF Annual Convention in Williamsburg.

Sturgis, along with Janice R. Burton of Halifax County and Sen. Emmett Hanger Jr., R-Mount Solon, were presented with the Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau award Wednesday night, November 29 in Williamsburg.

Steve Sturgis is a passionate advocate for farmers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and statewide, and he’s long been recognized as a leader by decision-makers in Richmond. A fourth-generation farmer and president of Tri-S Farms Inc., Sturgis started his own 8-acre farm in 1979, took over his family’s farming operation in 2002 and has since doubled its size to 900 acres. Tri-S Farms grows 150 acres of corn, 400 acres of wheat and 450 acres of soybeans each year.

Sturgis has served as president of the Northampton County Farm Bureau over the past several years and is a past president of the Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services. As VDACS board president he also was an ex-officio member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

“Steve is a leader in promoting conservation practices,” Pryor said. “He leads by example in using nutrient management planning, buffer strips, no-till planting” and other practices. “In addition, he has worked to ensure that the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center has the appropriate facilities, equipment and research faculty to address production, conservation and other issues facing row crop and vegetable farmers.

“His common-sense, real-world perspective helped others on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors appreciate the value and need for investment at all of the area research and extension centers around the state.”

The Virginia Agribusiness Council and the Eastville Volunteer Fire Co. are other organizations that have benefited from Sturgis’ leadership. He also has served as a game warden for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and as a deputy for the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.

With 127,000 members in 88 county Farm Bureaus, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to supporting Virginia’s agriculture industry and preserving the Virginia way of life. View more convention news as it becomes available at vafb.com/convention.